Updated: May 10, 2021
As a follow up to my last post “Rock Hard Titties,” I want to share with you how I tackle having a few drinks without “pumping and dumping” my milk. First and foremost, I want to remind you all to read my disclaimer on the home page and to not do any of this without consulting a professional first.
The Physiology behind Breastmilk and Alcohol:
Breast milk is literally liquid gold....... So why would I waste it if I do not absolutely have to? I figured I would start by sharing some basic physiology that I learned in my training to become a certified lactation counselor. So, say you go to your fridge and grab a cold busch latte, kind of feeling like one right now if I am being honest (what can I say, I like cheap beer). Anyways, after you drink said Busch latte it will move from your stomach, to your intestines and then into your blood. The alcohol will pass to your breastmilk in roughly the exact same concentration as it will your blood. So that means if your blood alcohol content was say .02% after one Busch latte then the concentration of alcohol in your breastmilk is also .02%. This is such a small amount of alcohol. Realistically, this is roughly equivalent to your baby having a teeny, tiny, baby, small sip of alcohol. Even if you have more than one, there is still such a small, small amount. Now, granted you may not be okay with drinking alcohol and breastfeeding, I am completely fine with this, and here is why.....
The benefits of my boobie milk far outweigh the risk of the baby getting a teensy bit of alcohol (in my opinion). My breastmilk is the perfect formula for EXACTLY what my baby needs at that moment. Granted if I am beyond the point of completely wasted, I probably wouldn’t be breastfeeding my child anyways. I also wouldn’t be around my child at all for that matter. I would simply pump my milk a few hours after my last drink and throw it in the freezer with a label that says “drunk milk.” In my opinion, it is all about being responsible. There are risks to being drunk around a baby that I refuse to take. So anyways back to the point of alcohol in breastmilk….
Realistically, some fruit juice has more alcohol (.1%) than my boobie milk after a cold Busch Latte due to fermentation of sugar! (Not that I would give my baby fruit juice, but that's a good way to grasp what I am saying). So at any rate, after a cold busch latte if I am not “drunk,” I would simply plop my baby right onto my boobies.
What do I do with my frozen drunk milk?
Now, if I am drunk enough to have to pump and save my milk, I dilute it! If I am away from my baby for the day or even overnight, I will thaw several bags of milk for that 24 hour period. I then will thaw and mix all of those bags together into one large container for whoever will feed my baby throughout the period of time that I am gone. This way any alcohol that makes its way into my babies feeds is in super small amounts. Now, I have a lot of extra milk so unless it has been frozen for several months I don't even really “need” to use it. But, if the milk is about to expire, I always use it if I can. If it expires and I cannot use it for drinking then I will use it for a milk bath down the line, who knows.
I work for every single drop of breastmilk. I do not believe in pump and dump because that is way too depressing for me. All of the research I have read said that the effects of alcohol from breastmilk are “clinically insignificant.” Statistically speaking these studies are just cross examinations and not legit studies related to alcohol in breastmilk. It is not like there is a study out there where someone gets moms drunk and then has them breastfeed to look for effects. No doctor is going to recommend it because it really can't be studied properly and if anything were to happen the doctor could windup in some legal trouble. I choose to follow the physiology behind alcohol reaching breastmilk and use that as my basis for decision making, but that's just me. I do not advise you to do as I do by any means at all. This is just me telling you what I do. Neither of my babies have ever shown any bad reaction to me having a few drinks. I have never breastfed my babies after having enough drinks to cloud my judgement at all and I definitely do not advise that to anyone. However, sometimes I just want to end my day with a cold Busch Latte.